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Will new production facility raise the bar for YouTube videos?

YouTube Space LA offers a place for creators to use high-end equipment and get technical advice from experts. CNET's Sumi Das gets a tour.

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YouTube Space. CNET

If you've ever spent time on YouTube, you know that it's a mixed bag. There are the slick professional videos, the shaky (but often side-splitting) clips shot on smartphones and everything in between.

In an effort to raise the quality of YouTube videos, the company has built YouTube Space LA, a 41,000-square-foot facility that offers practically every type of video production tool, free of charge. Of course, only serious creators need apply. Applicants must be YouTube Partners who have a track record of regularly contributing videos. But that doesn't mean they have to be churning out hits a la "Gangnam Style." The YouTube Space LA FAQ states that the goal is to help both established and emerging creators.

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The facility itself is production heaven. Liam Collins, who runs the facility, gave us a tour, showing us the various sound stages, green screen studios, editing areas, and control rooms. Equipment available for creators includes cinema cameras, DSLRs and even a Phantom camera -- a top-of-the-line high-speed camera that produces stunning slow-mo shots. The facility also runs workshops and "labs" for creators, a chance to advance their technical skills.

Within 15 minutes of walking into YouTube Space, I ran into four friends and former co-workers. Collins said the lobby with its large video wall and comfy sofas that encourage lounging and shoulder-rubbing was designed specifically for those sorts of run-ins. Why? Because it leads to collaboration and that's a key ingredient of YouTube Space LA. The hope is that creators will work together, leveraging their individual strengths and assisting fellow partners with their videos. And if the videos look a little more polished as a result, that translates into valuable page views for YouTube.